Top field

Top field Victoria Park, St.Helens.

Memories of many happy years exploring the park. Our house was very near the park and in the Summer we sometimes made our way with the plates, cutlery and pan and had a picnic meal on the top field just near the top hedge. Hotpot was one meal remembered.

3 static negatives

Animated gif file made from 3 consecutive black and white negatives shot in the 1970s as part of my duties to photograph the school teams and provide prints.

 

Team photos taken at Cowley Boys School in the mid to late 1970s.
It was sleeting as I took the pictures. As always I shot a few frames of each team so as to minimise the chance of anyone spoiling the shot by blinking or gesticulating.

Some forty years after taking these images I can recover a time element by animating between the three negatives, a highish definition black and white video of a time gone.

A separate image from another day and using the side of the quad rather than the steps.

Fountains

Victoria Park St.Helens, 1979.

Fellow Cowley pupil Robert Williams takes a photo as I record him and Victoria Park during a 6th form Photo Society outing in 1979.
Pilkingtons Glass was a major manufacturer based in the town and employed a whole lot of townsfolk in the factories dotted around.

Haydock races

Haydock Park, horse race in progress. Early 1980s shot on Kodachrome 25

Foggy hometime

St.Helens, across Ormskirk Street to the site of the new NatWest Bank yet to be built. Mid 1970s.


I have come to love this hopeless light, neglected and fading.

Two memories come to mind.

Ladies in their  older years always wearing scarfs over their heads, though I don’t think it was for religious reasons. Memory is of them hiding curlers or perhaps a bouffount protected from the wind.

A visit from the new manager of the bank when it was completed to the Cowley Sixth form. I cannot remember the purpose of the visit (perhaps recruit future staff?). I recall taking a very low view of the new bank, it seemed to me to be a way of extracting money from the local economy.

Decades later after many scandals and fraud it turned out that I may have had a point.

Team photos

My first income from photography came from taking over the team photos at Cowley Boys School. I didnt charge very much, 50p bought a whole plate (8.5″x6.5″) print in black and white. Cheap even at the time this enabled me to buy short lengths of outdated film or chemicals for the darkroom.

Sleet added to the atmosphere in this shot. Of course I should really have followed a Masters advice and photographed the teams directly after a match – much less smiling!
St.Helens.

Meeting ourselves

Waiting for the lights to change at the pedestrian crossing on Bickerstaffe Street, St.Helens approx 1975.

I was returning to the large building on the right which is the Gamble Institute and needed to finish the film I had been given at the photo department there.

I had been loaned a twin lens reflex camera and told to go for a walk and learn to use it.

I would not have printed a frame like this at the time as I would have considered it “too ordinary”.  With the passage of time it becomes more and more interesting, the clothes, the attitude, the smoking, the lack of smart phones…

Some of the people noticed a shy 14 year old with a funny looking camera pointed at them and responded, as is natural.  With time I have realised that capturing the “ordinary” is one of the greatest of photography’s gifts